‘Clarence the Legend’:Now and then
This has reference to the letter published in the TV Times of Sunday 26th sent by Ms. Sandra Phillips of Colombo 13,and wish to clarify some points raised there in.
Clarence was a close friend of mine who had a major influence in my involvement of music, which eventually led me to organise my first musical show in 1975, with super Golden chimes at Navarangahala. I organised ‘Tribute to Clarence’ in 2002, in association with Ananda College Sports Club, to pay tribute to a musician par excellence who had contributed immensely to the local music scene.
After a lapse of almost six years, I was able to get permission from Ms. Shiela Wijewardena, to organise another show which was staged on 23rd of June at BMICH. - ‘Clarence the Legend," The show was put to-gether for selected musicians, who had associated Clarence. (Numbers had to be restricted due to time constraints). In order to justify my selecting Sanath Nandasiri, Malkanthi and T.M. Jayaratne, I wish to state, that they were closely associated with Clarence and also he had composed songs for them which were performed at the show. In fact, the songs that they performed 'Aadare Ma Aadare' and ‘Seetha Rae’ are still performed by them at musical shows. Clarence had composed 41 songs for T.M. Jayaratne and also had a major influence in his musical career.
The selection of the compere was a decision which was beyond my control, but I am fully aware of Vijaya Corea's contribution and involvement with Clarence. This was the very reason he was a distinguished invitee. I must appreciate Arun Dias volunteering to compere the show, which he did with reluctance.
Although the writer claims that the show was a disappointment, the general feed back I received was more than encouraging as many felt that it was an excellent show. I wish to request Ms. Sandra Phillips to produce the counterfoils of the tickets purchased for the show, so that I could make arrangements to refund her ‘hard earned' money spent on the show.